Don’t Quit Your Job. 2024’s Labor Market Is Going to Look Much Different From Last Year’s. – The Average Joe


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    Don’t Quit Your Job. 2024’s Labor Market Is Going to Look Much Different From Last Year’s.


    January 11, 2024

    100% chance of a recession? Economic catastrophe that would end America’s strongest labor market in history? Not in 2023. Try 2024? Last year, the US added over 2.7M jobs — leaving the unemployment rate at 3.7% — just slightly above the 3.5% in Dec. 2022. Average hourly earnings rose 4.1% year-over-year (YoY), outpacing the Consumer Price Index’s 3.1% reading in Nov. 2023.

    2024 labor forecast: Despite the positive job growth seen in 2023, not all Americans have felt the supposed strength in the economy — and signs indicate that 2024 won’t be a cakewalk either. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report reveals that the number of job openings reached its lowest point since Mar. 2021, signaling a potential slowdown in hiring by employers.

    • Some fields have been impacted more than others: According to Indeed, software development and marketing job postings, for instance, have fallen 20% since Feb. 2020 — while child care, nursing and retail postings have risen over 20%.
    • It’s taking more time to find work: According to WSJ, unemployment claims were up 15% YoY in the week of Dec. 9, reflecting a tighter labor market.

    The widening gap in employment trends may result in greater flexibility and job security for workers in high-demand fields (i.e., healthcare, construction) — while high-supply “knowledge workers” (i.e., tech, professional services) might struggle.

    Knowledge workers face the AI-mpact?

    The hoard of jobs created during the pandemic has dried up — and companies have been on an automation and layoff rampage as part of cost-saving efforts. Per data, over 262K tech jobs were eliminated in 2023 — nearly double the amount from the previous year. While layoffs have slowed in recent months, it doesn’t mean employees are off the hook yet.

    • According to a December Motherboard survey of 9,338 engineers, nearly 90% revealed that it was harder to find a job now than before the pandemic.
    • This year, Twitch, Unity and BlackRock announced massive layoffs that’ll impact nearly 3K workers.

    Just the beginning: The ripple effect of AI has almost exclusively been felt in tech-heavy industries, with Duolingo being the latest to axe 10% of its contractors in favor of AI-generated content. Business leaders are increasingly turning to AI, with 37% having replaced workers with AI in the past year, and 44% anticipating layoffs due to AI in 2024 according to a ResumeBuilder report. Pearson says 30% of white-collar jobs are threatened by AI — contrasting with only 1% of blue-collar jobs. Time for a career change?

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